According to the Internet Movie Database, commonly known as IMDb, Joker is one of the greatest movies ever made. But the vote count doesn’t reflect critic opinions, like Rotten Tomatoes, and instead shows that users have been reacting positively to Todd Phillips’ psychological thriller, a story about Arthur Fleck’s transformation into a vengeful clown.
Since Joker’s wide U.S. release, the film has already broken numerous October box office records. On its first Monday alone, Joker earned nearly $10 million on a non-holiday. Joaquin Phoenix stars as the title character, an aspiring stand-up comedian who turns to a life of crime after being humiliated and seemingly abandoned by a system designed to protect his mental health. Joker was intended to be a stand-alone film, but clearly sets up a sequel with its in-universe Gotham references and final act climax. Phillips’ film may not be for everybody, but those who enjoy it are making their presence known at IMDb.
At IMDb, Joker is currently the ninth highest-rated film. The 9.0 weight average is based on a 1-10 system, along with more than 193,000 user votes. Approximately 55 percent of IMDb users have given Joker a 10 rating, with another 23 percent showing their approval with a 9. The subsequent percentages progressively go down from 8 to 2, though it’s telling that 1.4 percent of IMDb users have given Joker the lowest rating possible (1 ). Overall, females have provided slighting higher ratings than males for the demographics 18 and over, 18 to 29, and 39-44. Males and females in the 45 and over demographic have given Joker a weighted average score of 8.6.
Joker’s current IMDb score will please fans, but it’s likely to decrease with time. That doesn’t mean the film won’t be considered a classic by many, but it will speak to how a world of moviegoers generally react to the film. IMDb’s current Top 10 list reflects movies that speak to societal themes about outliers and justice. For example, The Shawshank Redemption tops the list, a film that’s primarily focused on an inmate’s quest to break free. The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II are ranked at two and three, respectively, two films that are fundamentally about crime - but more about society and family. The other Top 5 slots include The Dark Knight, a film that includes an iconic Joker performance by Heath Ledger, and 12 Angry Men, a film that’s about the American justice system. All of these films have narratives about loss and redemption.
As time goes by, Joker may fall from IMDb’s Top 10 or even the Top 100. And while that may be important to some, what truly matters is that Phillips' film continues to spark conversations about modern movie culture. Joker is indeed set in 1981, but the narrative parallels modern societal issues, and how some people feel like they’ve been forgotten, misrepresented, or treated unfairly for one reason or another, a concept that likely correlates with the high IMDb rating. As for Joker’s violence, depiction isn’t the same as endorsement.